Monday, November 26, 2007

Art and The Test

From the
a story about standardized testing and the arts. In the article one paragraph caught my eye,
"From the while both the Department of Education and the federal government identify the arts as vital to a good education, the grades -- and the standardized testing approach -- fail to acknowledge the central role subjects beyond reading and math play in a child's education. Arts education may very well be the "incomplete" in these report cards."
In Florida the State Art Education is in the process of developing a standardized test for the visual arts.
Now is this a good use of our time? I'm sure that politically it is a good idea. A test will add legitimacy to the arts in the eyes of the ones that hold the purse strings. But will the students learn because of it? Yes, in the areas that are tested, but with 100 or so questions how large an area of art could that be? (Wow that sounds like what is said about the other test)
Unless the art test is perceived as only a part of assessing what a child has learned in art. In visiting other art teachers and their classes each class is as different as the style of art that each teacher prefers to work in. How can that variety be assessed in a single standardized test?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Shift Happens

On my other blog I am hosting a discussion of Dan Pinks book "A Whole New Mind". This is a project to not only get the art and music teachers to read the book but to also introduce them to blogging as an instructional tool. In my research for the blog I came across this video. It is very powerful.
It is on teacher tube and I hope that it will not be locked-out by the district.
I am currently trying to incorporated 21st century skills into my classroom instruction. Students are beginning to create their own web pages of their art work. Next week I will be teaching them about internet safety using NetSmartz. Then after introducing how to use PBWiki I will have small groups work together and create their own art web page. When my students get some of the pages done I'll post the URL and you can take a look. It's small but it's a start!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Student Web Pages

For the past few months I have been reading and studying about using web 2.0 in the classroom. I am now in the process of involving students in the creation of authentic writing about their art on their own web page. They are very excited about the prospect of reaching a very wide audience with their art and writing. I am using a wiki space called PBWiki and it is very easy to use. I have created a site for each class I teach and each student in that class will have their own page to work on.
This week I gave them all a very brief overview if the project. I started by explaining that we would be using a piece if art that we have been working on from the beginning of the school year. I photographed the art and the students wrote about their art. I showed the students how I use paper and pencil to plan out my web pages and that was what they would be doing.
I have always had a difficult time getting students to write about their art in my class but with the prospect of writing to the web most students took off. Many wrote on both the front and back of their papers. Whoa what a hook!
Another feature on PBWiki is the comment section. This allows students and others to make comments about a page and the content of that page. I think that this will also be a powerful tool in getting the kids reading, thinking and writing.
Next week I will be showing the students and interactive net safety presentation. The district is asking that we do this and I think that it is a good idea to explain to the students what to look out for while working on the web.
This should be fun.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This is funny

Ok sometimes I just gotta laugh:) Especially at politics.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Trying Something New

Last Thursday at our monthly art teacher meeting I suggested that we create a book study group. At professional day last month our supervisor Margaret Griffin handed out Daniel Pinks book "A Whole New Mind" to all the art teachers and to the music teachers.
For those of you who have not read Dan Pinks book it is a very interesting take on what lies in our future.
Well I thought that this would be as good a time as any to introduce the concept of blogging as a form of cooperative learning. So I created a blog for that purpose and sent out a call to all the elementary Art and Music teachers in Hillisborough county to participate.
Its been two days and I have only had one comment posted.
I know people read the bolgs, or at least they have told me that they do but getting them to leave posts...
I figured out how to have more that one moderator on a blog so I may ask for volunteers to help. That may spark some interest.


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